Mahut rallies past Hewitt for Newport crown

French wild card Nicolas Mahut rallied from a set down to upend 2012 runner-up Lleyton Hewitt Sunday in the final at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.

Mahut, the 2007 Newport runner-up, battled back from a first set misstep to take a 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 triumph on Center Court.

Mahut breezed past American Michael Russell 6-2, 6-2 earlier Sunday to advance to the final and became the first Frenchman to claim the Newport title since Fabrice Santoro in 2008.

The 31-year-old Mahut, who secured his first career ATP World Tour title at the Topshelf Open last month, improved to 2-2 all-time in title matches on the ATP World Tour.

The fourth-seeded Hewitt knocked off two-time reigning champion John Isner earlier Sunday in a rematch of last year's final to advance to the title match for a second straight year.

Hewitt, however, was unable to ride the momentum past Mahut, despite taking the first set from the Frenchman.

With the loss, Hewitt fell to 28-17 in ATP World Tour finals, including 7-2 on grass.

Mahut, who had lost the only two previous meetings against Hewitt, took home $78,000 for his first-place finish.